Morning Briefing – Thursday, November 7

The Copenhagen Post’s daily round-up of the front pages and other major Danish news stories

Hospitals being built without kitchens
Regional councils are re-evaluating the budgets for construction of the six so-called super hospitals after it has emerged that no money had been set aside to build kitchens in four of them. When plans for the hospitals were unveiled by the previous government in 2007, they had a price tag of 90 million kroner. Cost cutting measures, however, have seen the budgets reduced by half. Plans to build the larger, centralised hospitals required the closure of a number of smaller hospitals, a move that was heavily criticised. Vibeke Storm Rasmussen (S), the chair of the Greater Copenhagen Regional Council, said the newest revelations supported those criticisms. – Jyllands-Posten

SEE RELATED: Hospitals given go-ahead to charge for non-core services

Authorities to back risky mortgages
The government and the central bank have stepped in to eliminate mounting concern that homeowners with mortgages would not be able to refinance before their terms end. Mortgage lenders must find investors to purchase bonds backing the so-called F1 mortgages, single-year, variable loans, at auction before the reinvestment window closes on November 29. A number of financial experts, including Standard & Poor’s, had cautioned that it was theoretically possible that uncertainty about the economy would mean that there would not be enough investors to purchase the bonds. Those concerns had led some lenders to consider whether to stop offering F1 mortgages entirely. Rock-bottom interest rates have made F1 mortgages one of the most popular types of home loans. – Børsen

SEE RELATED: Not wanted: variable-rate mortgages

More trouble for Metro construction
Four organisations involved with construction of Copenhagen’s City Ring Metro line are being accused of collusion in connection with approval of an application to carry out of around-the-clock construction. The city of Copenhagen, the city of Frederiksberg, and the Transport Ministry, reportedly assisted Metroselskabet, the company that operates the Metro, and which is co-owned by all three organisations, with drafting its request to expand construction hours so that it was guaranteed to pass without requiring a new environmental impact assessment. Such assessments can take up to a year to complete. By working at night, the company hoped to avoid a year-long construction delay. The Transport Ministry had previously denied that Metroselskabet had participated in the process, but email correspondence obtained by Politiken indicates otherwise. – Politiken

SEE RELATED: Neighbours fed up with Metro noise and inconvenience

Candidates: property taxes too high
Rapid rises in property taxes that in some cases has seen some rates more than double over the course of just a few years are unsustainable, say a large number of candidates for local council. On the national level, 42 percent of the 2,500 candidates for local council support freezing property tax rates. In the Greater Copenhagen area, there was a majority in favour of stopping the increases. In some councils, there is a majority in favour of lowering rates. – Berlingske

LOCAL ELECTION 13: See our full election coverage

Editorial Excerpt | Contract politics
We shouldn’t be naïve, financial support for political parties and individual candidates at the national and local levels is common. Supporting parties or policies either morally or financially is a noble pursuit, but coming out and asking someone to sign a contract goes too far. […] The situation should serve to prove to parliament that in a democracy like we have in Denmark transparency should be the ultimate goal, and that they need to pass a law that requires all party funding to be made public. – Jyllands-Posten

SEE RELATED: Unions paying for political influence (Morning Briefing – Wednesday, November 6)